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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 24, 2009 7:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pink Floyd (semi-Dead) 12-Bar Blues Band

Well, we can question Peter Jenner's opinions...
For instance, he had this to say:
"The Pink Floyd were the only psychedelic band. They had this improvisation, this spirit of psychedelia which I don't think any other band had. The Pink Floyd didn't play chords. At their finest it was very extraordinary free improvisation. We thought we were doing what was happening in San Francisco, which we'd never heard, and it was totally different."

English psychedelic groups developed on a different track than San Francisco psychedelia...but they were aware of each other. For instance, I think the early light shows that Pink Floyd did were influenced by the San Francisco light shows. (They also did an early version of Interstellar Overdrive for the soundtrack of an experimental short called San Francisco in '67.)

Pink Floyd played Winterland in 1967 with Syd Barrett (their first visit there - playing with Janis Joplin!) all accounts, Syd was a complete zombie by that time, not playing chords but just detuning his guitar on stage til the strings rattled. So it wasn't a very long tour - most of the shows got canceled & they went back to England!

True, the Floyd complained that all San Francisco had were lame blues groups.... I don't think Cream had many kind words for the SF music scene, either - Clapton said he was "unimpressed" by the likes of Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane, etc. (Don't know if he ever said anything specifically about the Dead?)

But then, the folks watching Pink Floyd in '67 might not have liked them either... Ralph Gleason said, "Pink Floyd, for all its electronic interest, is simply dull in a dance hall following Janis Joplin."

Michael Bloomfield was also very negative about the SF music scene:
"I think San Francisco music isn't good music," he said in early 1968, "not good bands. They're amateur cats. ... I don't dig 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,' by the Grateful Dead. I don't dig Pigpen trying to sing blues; it don't sound like blues. It sounds like some white kid trying to sing blues. It drags me; they're not funky. They don't have a good beat; I can't explain it. It's not the real shit and it's not even a good imitation. It's not even like the Stones. I don't dig the Airplane — I think they're a third-rate rock 'n' roll band. I don't dig Country Joe & the Fish. I find them an abomination, a fraud perpetuated on people. I don't dig Big Brother; I dig Janis, but I think Big Brother is just a wretched, lame group of cats who she carries for no reason at all."

Here's a little article on Cream & San Francisco:

And here's an earlier thread on this -
- SkyDawg contributed a nice photo, and this Peter Jenner quote:
"There was a sort of wildness about the British psychedelic scene, that was a sort of freedom of expression which you didn't come across in America. We thought that was all a part of the psychedelic experience, and I don't think really anyone did that at that time, maybe The Grateful Dead did in terms of guitar solos, but they tended again to improvise in a much more conventional manner, you know around sort of conventional chord sequences. I think the British stuff, you know "Chord sequences? What are they? We're just playing, man..."

And here's a quote I found on the internet about the British psychedelic scene in the '60s:
"Because the blokes who ruled it didn't have a clue what the alternative scene was in the States (no Internet, no intercontinental television, remember) they invented a British version that was apparently much more progressive than the American one....
This was also reflected in the music. As Pink Floyd and the other acid bands only knew from hearsay what their American examples were doing they constructed the Brit-variant of the sunshine underground. When Pink Floyd toured America a few months later they were rather disappointed. Manager Peter Jenner was shocked how lame the Fillmore West was compared with UFO and how 'ordinary the bands were compared with the English psychedelic bands'. Roger Waters called the Haight-Ashbury bands less 'extraordinary and mindblowing and trippy' than he had anticipated. (Groupie attention was another thing of course and when the boys got back home from their first American tour they rushed off to a London hospital to get some injections against gonorrhoea.)"

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2009-08-25 02:43:34

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Poster: Hal R Date: Aug 25, 2009 4:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pink Floyd (semi-Dead) 12-Bar Blues Band

Interesting comment from Bloomfield regarding the San Francisco Bands. If they were so bad why did he hang around in their territory and live in the Bay area from 1967 to 1981 when he died ( I think he lived there all this time)? Why not Chicago where he grew up and got his start and was the home of so many great Blues musicians.

Well, Country Joe and Jerry must not have felt the same about Bloomfield because Country Joe wrote a song for Michael and Jerry played some very tasty licks on it

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Poster: snori Date: Aug 25, 2009 1:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pink Floyd (semi-Dead) 12-Bar Blues Band

LIA would you agree that the reason American and Brit psychedelic music went down separate paths is that 12-bar had been the root of 'rock music' in the States whereas in the UK apart from some early dabbling into Chuck Berry and soul music by the Beatles and Stones traditional folk dance and ballads were the influence ?

I think development and experimentation also occurred more in the studio here than on stage. In particular George Martin's work with the Beatles which probably led to a plethora of bands and producers searching for new sounds and effects to use on their albums.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2009 11:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Psychedelic Musings

I think any band that could afford it experimented in the studio, in England or the US. The Beatles changed the rules for everyone. As for on-stage experimentation, I've heard too few groups' live '60s shows to be able to have any context. I'm certainly not the expert here on English psychedelia! I think regionalism was important (what city a band came from), but it's hard to divide influences by nationality.... I have to suspect that by '66/67, most psychedelic bands were listening to a lot more rock music than traditional folk & ballads. And there were 'psych-folk' musicians in the US, I think influences come down to the musicians, not the country.

Having said that, British psych definitely has a distinct feel.
A quote from Richie Unterberger: "The British strain of psychedelia tended to be more whimsical and fairytale-ish than the west coast brand of acid-rock. Ethereal organs and mellotrons often set the tone of the generally more symphonic arrangements; the lyrics, occasionally wry & surreal, were often populated with eccentric British character types, or took a storybook child's-eye perspective."
We shouldn't generalize too much, though....psychedelic music covers a lot of territory, from loud acid-rock to soft airy ballads, and England had its share of both. (And if we're talking about traditions, remember that many bands in the SF scene like Jefferson Airplane & the Grateful Dead started out as folk --> folk/rock bands before psych hit!)

I think the big divide comes later on, around '68/69, when in England prog-rock comes out of psychedelic music....for some reason, this barely happened in the US, where instead psych was giving way to hard-rock.

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Aug 25, 2009 8:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pink Floyd (semi-Dead) 12-Bar Blues Band

The U.K. scene in the late 60's early 70's was also heavily influenced by the particular cities music was coming from, much like it is in the U.S. The Brit psychedelic sound was primarily a London-based sound. London being a more "proper" city which spawned rebellious youth backlashing against the "man". Heavy metal/hard rock was primarily a Birmingham sound, particularly from the northwest 'burbs known as the "Black Country" due to all the soot from coal-fire steel foundries and factories covering everything in sight. Unemployment was about 50%, and it was an overall unhealthy place to live.

Unrelated to this topic: 31 people arrested for drugs, including nitrous oxide at Phish @ Merriweather Post Pavilion on August 18. The cops also confiscated a RV and $12,000.00 cash.

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Poster: skies Date: Aug 26, 2009 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pink Floyd (semi-Dead) 12-Bar Blues Band

DeadRed1971:I just noticed your saying about 31 people arrested august 18th,at Merryweather Pavillion.Question: are you ,deadheads organized to help,such has having dead lawyers,to help free those arrested ,nowadays ?